Exposé Online banner

King Crimson — Thrak
(Discipline DGM0513, 1995/2005, CD)

by Dan Casey, 1995-11-01:

Thrak Cover art

First, to answer the biggest question: What do I get if I buy this album that I don't already have on Vrooom? Not much really. You get the 'single' "Dinosaur." You also get the breezy Lennon-like "Walking on Air." You get the drum duet "B'Boom." You get the other 'single' "People." You get a lot of filler vignettes, like both parts of "Radio" and "Inner Garden." You get completely rerecorded and rewritten versions of "Thrak," "One Time," "Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream," and two new versions of "Vrooom." But why are the rerecorded versions so muddy and poorly mixed? The versions on Vrooom are consequently all the better for the clarity. While this album is more complete and flows better, it doesn't have the same raw cutting edge that the previous EP did. Nevertheless, this offering is still superior to anything the 80's incarnation recorded, and inferior to most everything the 60s/70s incarnation recorded. Another mystery is the presence of the Mellotron here. While it appears at the opening of the album and in the middle of "Dinosaur," it serves no vital role, and almost seems thrown in as a whim or a joke. The bottom line: either Thrak or the Vrooom EP will do, but there is no real reason (unless you're a KC diehard) to have both. Better than either of those alternatives, however, is seeing this double-trio at a live show. The versions of "Vrooom," "One Time," and "Thrak" that you will find there are way beyond any studio representation thereof.


by Peter Thelen, 1995-11-01:

While the earlier release Vrooom was essentially a rehearsal of material destined for this album, it was also a far more condensed unit of what would be the most important tracks on the full length album to come. With Vrooom you got the meat. With Thrak you get the meat, the rice, the vegetables, the bread, and the wine – the same music with a lot of stuffing around it and four possible hits thrown in for good measure. The additional material includes a longer version of the single "Dinosaur" (if you haven't heard that by now you've no doubt been living in a cave – and yes, it does indeed sound a lot like a song from Magical Mystery Tour), "One Time," which sounds a little bit like Synchronicity era Police doing a variation on "Standing in the Shadows of Love" (the old Four Tops song), the Lennon-esque "Walking on Air," and "People," a-la early 80s Talking Heads. Oh, did I forget "B'Boom," the four minute drum solo that leads into the new version of "Thrak," and the two part almost-forgot-it-was-there "Inner Garden." Some filler there too. The only real letdown is the album closer "Vrooom Vrooom," which is merely a rehash of "Vrooom" mixed with pathetically disguised quotes from "Red" – sorta like they ran out of new ideas at the end. Variety is the key here; that accepted, this is a pretty decent effort for Fripp and company, certainly better than most of their 80s output.


Filed under: Reissues , Issue 8 , 2005 releases, 1995 releases

Related artist(s): Adrian Belew, Bill Bruford / Earthworks, Robert Fripp, King Crimson, Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto, Trey Gunn

More info

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Calhoun - Native Lands – Drummer Will Calhoun is best known for his work in Living Colour with guitarist Vernon Reid. Native Lands is a release showcasing the influences of jazz, rap, and world music on Calhoun's approach,...  (2007) » Read more

Ange - By the Sons of Mandrin & Par les Fils de Mandrin Live 77 – Banco and PFM did it, so why not Ange? The world of rock music has always been dominated by the English language, and many of the bands who sing primarily in another language have seen fit to record...  (2004) » Read more

Progres 2 - Dialog S Vesmírem – This is a solid 76 minute live set from one of the better Eastern European prog bands. Progres 2 recorded several albums in the late 70s/early 80s featuring a rather dark and aggressive symphonic...  (1994) » Read more

Zinkl - Dance Music for Insects – Electronic composer Anton Zinkl is now up to his sixth album, the first I’ve heard. If it’s any indication, I’ve been missing something pretty interesting. On his web site, Zinkl...  (2003) » Read more

The Tunnel Singer - Undercurrents – The theme of this latest offering – the ninth from Lee Ellen Shoemaker, aka The Tunnel Singer – is various deep water undercurrents, with appropriately named titles like “Cedros...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues